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The European Pillar of Social Rights: Five years on

Laura Rayner , Tommaso Grossi , Danielle Brady , Victoria Pedjasaar

Date: 20/12/2022
The European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) was set by the Juncker Commission in 2017 to act as a compass intended to build a stronger and fairer ‘Social Europe’.

However, in the last five years, the EU and its member states have been confronted with several challenges and crises which have severely tested the principles of the Pillar. The war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, digitalisation, and the current inflation and cost-of-living crises are just a few examples of the challenges that have impacted the Pillar’s implementation.

In the context of the current ‘permacrisis’, where does the EU stand on the implementation of the Pillar and meeting the three ambitious Action Plan targets? To address this question, the EPC organised a Conference on 9 November 2022 to mark the fifth anniversary of the Pillar and to explore where we started from, where we are, and what more needs to be done to make the EPSR’s full implementation a reality.

The authors argue that, while there is no doubt that the Pillar is the cornerstone of a stronger ‘Social Europe’, its capacity to represent a leap towards a Union where social and employment rights become the steering instruments of the EU’s governance has not been fully achieved. This Discussion Paper provides an insightful analysis of the current status of the implementation of the EPSR and its three Action Plans and poses a thought-provoking question: how can the Pillar continue to progress?

Read the full paper here.
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